an·​tip·​a·​thy | \ an-ˈti-pə-thē How to pronounce antipathy (audio) \
plural antipathies

Definition of antipathy

1 : a strong feeling of dislike an antipathy to taxes a deep antipathy between the groups
2 : something disliked : an object of aversion … perhaps his greatest antipathies were cabs, old women, doors that would not shut …— Charles Dickens
3 obsolete : opposition in feeling

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Choose the Right Synonym for antipathy

enmity, hostility, antipathy, antagonism, animosity, rancor, animus mean deep-seated dislike or ill will. enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed. an unspoken enmity hostility suggests an enmity showing itself in attacks or aggression. hostility between the two nations antipathy and antagonism imply a natural or logical basis for one's hatred or dislike, antipathy suggesting repugnance, a desire to avoid or reject, and antagonism suggesting a clash of temperaments leading readily to hostility. a natural antipathy for self-seekers antagonism between the brothers animosity suggests intense ill will and vindictiveness that threaten to kindle hostility. animosity that led to revenge rancor is especially applied to bitter brooding over a wrong. rancor filled every line of his letters animus adds to animosity the implication of strong prejudice. objections devoid of personal animus

Did You Know?

When the nation of Yugoslavia was created in 1945, it combined a number of ethnic groups with a history of violent antipathy toward each other. In 1991–92 four regions of the country announced that they would become independent nations; a bloody six-year war followed, fueled by these ancient and powerful antipathies. The American Civil War similarly resulted from antipathy between the North and the South. But in the U.S.'s relations with its next-door neighbors, it's been a long time since emotions have gotten much stronger than annoyance.

Examples of antipathy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One the greatest and most original and shockingly unconventional musicians of the 20th century, Gould went even further in his antipathy to live performance. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Glenn Gould’s decades-old radio documentaries still resonate. Podcasters, take note," 22 Apr. 2020 Human Rights Campaign announces Biden endorsement May 6, 202006:49 The endorsement itself is no surprise, given the antipathy that most LGBTQ activists have toward Biden’s rival, President Donald Trump. NBC News, "Biden endorsed by U.S.'s largest LGBTQ group on notable anniversary," 6 May 2020 Misguided, negative publicity to the contrary should receive the same antipathy judges give when faced with other attempts at manipulation. Nathan L. Kinard, National Review, "Ethics Rules Do Not Bar Judges from Membership in the Federalist Society," 6 Feb. 2020 The antipathy between rich and poor that lies at the core of Parasite, then, is rooted less in the difference between the two families than in their similarities. Bo Seo, The Atlantic, "Parasite and the Curse of Closeness," 22 Oct. 2019 Stoute also seemed to be keenly aware of the fan antipathy toward Dolan, a reclusive owner who has banned fans and Charles Oakley, a popular former player, from Madison Square Garden. New York Times, "The Knicks Are Trying Something New: A Rebrand," 9 Feb. 2020 Austin Bayliss, 32, sees worrying signs that antipathy to Trump may not be enough to carry Democrats to victory. Anchorage Daily News, "An anxious nation finally votes. Some hope that will ease divisions. Others see a permanent state of ‘trench warfare.’," 3 Feb. 2020 But the first conclusions of the WHI study, on which so much antipathy to HRT is still based, were almost entirely wrong. The Economist, "Managing menopause Millions of women are missing out on hormone replacement therapy," 12 Dec. 2019 But Syracuse also retains a strong fraternity and preprofessional culture that at times appears to have fostered antipathy to students of color on its central New York campus., "In the spring, some black students reported being attacked and targeted with slurs near the Syracuse campus. Others reported several instances of professors at a campus in Madrid using a racist slur. Then came the November incidents.," 28 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antipathy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of antipathy

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for antipathy

Latin antipathia, from Greek antipatheia, from antipathēs of opposite feelings, from anti- + pathos experience — more at pathos

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Learn More about antipathy

Time Traveler for antipathy

Time Traveler

The first known use of antipathy was in 1592

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Statistics for antipathy

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Antipathy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for antipathy


an·​tip·​a·​thy | \ an-ˈti-pə-thē How to pronounce antipathy (audio) \
plural antipathies

Kids Definition of antipathy

: a strong feeling of dislike


an·​tip·​a·​thy | \ an-ˈtip-ə-thē How to pronounce antipathy (audio) \
plural antipathies

Medical Definition of antipathy

1 : settled aversion or dislike
2 : an object of aversion

Other Words from antipathy

antipathic \ ˌant-​i-​ˈpath-​ik How to pronounce antipathic (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on antipathy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for antipathy

Spanish Central: Translation of antipathy

Nglish: Translation of antipathy for Spanish Speakers

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